Perhaps my most popular blog post, Why Don’t Men Like Smart, Strong, Successful Women?, got a comment today that was so well-written, I had to share it with you. I love it when my readers can express my thoughts – because if you ever tune me out when I remind you how to connect with men – perhaps it’ll have greater resonance if you hear it from another woman.
I love it when my readers can express my thoughts – because if you ever tune me out when I remind you how to connect with men – perhaps it’ll have greater resonance if you hear it from another woman.
Enjoy, and have a fantastic July 4th.
Boy, does this topic speak to me. A couple years ago I was a careerist hard-line feminist, and a bit of a racist, too: get this – a black woman who would not date black guys, owing to a sexual assault experience back in the Eighties that all black guys should not be blamed for. I have now learned this, after dating some of New York’s most truly wonderful fellows of all races. But I digress.
Anyway, I treated relationships like combat and saw men as my enemies. After all, why not, I reasoned? Sure, they might look at my chest and not my face, but then ignore my of course it’s so jaw-droppingly fantastic resume, fail to be impressed by my oh so glamorous so-called career, take a peek at super career me but then move on – or force me to move them on – to softer, rounder girls whom at the time I considered weaklings, Stepford throwbacks, doormats. And then they would marry these girls!
Why was this happening?
I even poured up a heaping mugful of liquid hate for a very good author who wrote a book attempting to counsel other career girls like myself so we could keep a man interested, and maybe see one fight to snag us. In that article I said some pretty dumb things.
But now flash forward to me a couple years later, happily dating and positively besieged by handsome, smart, funny, available and interested guys. How did this happen? Did I change overnight? Was it moving to New York City where I will admit men are a little more outspoken when interested than in other cities?
Nah; more to the point it was realizing men want different things from a date than women do, and remembering I was a girl, not a boy.
As a date conversation topic, my own career began to bore me. About a year ago, I stopped wearing black suits and pinstripes outside the studio. I started wearing frilly dresses with lace, and wearing more bright colors. I stopped hiding my chest and legs. I took my hair down out of its bun and let it fall on my back and shoulders. But more importantly I think, something within me had shifted. I began enjoying being a girl – a real change for a lifelong tomboy. This resulted in me laughing and smiling more, especially in public; talking a little softer, not using profanity as much, and just softening up inside. I
started noticing I LOVED MEN! Long a feminist, I instead began observing how society is often cruel to little boys and to men, and began feeling sympathy and admiration towards them. Men became my best friends.
I was then positively besieged by men!
On subways. In hallways. At restaurants. Leaving a meeting. Going to one. On W. 47th. On E. 12th. In the elevators. The freight loading docks. The bus. The doctor’s office. Like the song, it began “raining men”!
I’m now dating actively – not aggressively, notice, but actively; I don’t seek out men or dates, they just show up and come to me, and I’m asked out all the freaking time. Now my job is to glow gently, smile, accept, say yes, enjoy, then go home and evaluate. How did I like this date? How did he make me feel? Does he make me smile, make me happy? And men LOVE putting women in the position to ask these things. They perform, they provide, then we sit back and gently, lovingly evaluate. This is the best job ever!
They want to know not whether you are a successful woman, but instead if you are successful at being a woman, and can therefore make him happy as a man.
So this is a long and somewhat rambling note, Evan, to say I stopped by your website this morning to click a topic I would have clicked with a gnarly frown two years ago, looking for yet more “evidence that men do not like a successful woman”.
Today, with a nice date behind me last night and another date scheduled this evening, I can read all this with a smile because I know it isn’t accurate; more accurate is that men care if you are happy with yourself while at your career, not whether you are successful at it. They want to know not whether you are a successful woman, but instead if you are successful at being a woman, and can therefore make him happy as a man.
I have figured this out and offer a really dumb once woman’s apology to all the men I hurt with my actions, the women and men I hurt with my comments, the innocent black dudes who never got a chance with me because I was dumb (see aforementioned really dumb onceness), and to all the readers here wondering when this post will end!
Well, yes it will: right here!
Thanks for a fun website, Evan, men are not the enemy. I get it now.